Bernard Cornwell.

Several years ago I read a book written by Bernard Cornwell about a british soldier Sharpe. It was the second book in the series and I liked it very much. I always liked historical fiction and I felt like I am young again.

As usually in such cases, I went to internet and read about the author.

You can repeat this step by clicking on the line below.


Then I remembered that I read before his book “Stonehenge” and enjoyed it very much. All theories about Stonehenge fascinated me for years. Surely, we visited Stonehenge during our trip to England and this visit stays in my memory (sunny day, huge stones, modern buses, sheep, tourists from all over the world).

Next step was reading every book about Sharpe and Lord Wellington. Not all of them are equally well-written but I would recommend to read all of them.

You can find about the Sharpe books HERE.

But the Sharpe series is only one of many.


I read many of them with great pleasure but one of them stays separately in my memory. It is “Agincourt” (Azincourt in French). Please read the book. You’ll be glad you did.

I ask my readers who read books by Bernard Cornwell to comment on this post. Thank you.


Robert W.Service.

Yesterday I received an email from my friend. It said that he translated Robert Service’s poem “My Madonna” into Russian and asked what I thought about the translation. I looked at the original and the translation and answered that translation was good but required more work to become excellent.

I have to confess that before yesterday I did not know the poem and that I liked it.

For those of you, who don’t know or forgot the poem here it is:


My Madonna – by Robert W. Service

I haled me a woman from the street,
Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the model’s seat
And I painted her sitting there.

I hid all trace of her heart unclean;
I painted a babe at her breast;
I painted her as she might have been
If the Worst had been the Best.

She laughed at my picture and went away.
Then came, with a knowing nod,
A connoisseur, and I heard him say;
“‘Tis Mary, the Mother of God.”

So I painted a halo round her hair,
And I sold her and took my fee,
And she hangs in the church of Saint Hillaire,
Where you and all may see.


I also have to confess that I did not remember reading anything else written by Robert W.Service and I did not know anything about him. However, we live in a fairy tale era when we can get necessary information almost immediately.

Surely, I went to Google and found a big article about Robert W.Service on Wikipedia. I highly recommend you to read this article HERE.

I loved reading this well-written informative article about a wonderful creative man who had a very interesting life, met with many famous people, lived in many countries, wrote many poems and novels. 

It was especially interesting for me to read the following:

“He also visited the USSR in the 1930s and later wrote a satirical “Ballad of Lenin’s Tomb“.[20] For this reason his poetry has never been translated into Russian in the USSR and he was never mentioned in Soviet encyclopedias.[21]

Service’s second trip to the Soviet Union “was interrupted by news of the Hitler-Stalin pact. Service fled across PolandLatviaEstonia and the Baltic to Stockholm. He wintered in Nice with his family, then fled France for Canada.” Not long after, the Nazis invaded France, and “arrived at his home in Lancieux … looking specifically for the poet who had mocked Hitler in newspaper verse.”[22]

These two paragraphs show clearly what kind of person Robert W.Service was.

I already started exploring Robert W.Service’s writings. Hope you’ll do the same.


“I finally understood what true love meant…love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”

― Nicholas SparksDear John

I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.”

― Nicholas SparksThe Notebook

Life is full of surprises. Last month I was looking for books by some unknown to me authors and discovered “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks.

I started to read it and its first sentences hit me.

Here they are:

“WHO AM I? And how, I wonder, will this story end?

The sun has come up and I am sitting by a window that is foggy with the breath of a life gone by. I’m a sight this morning: two shirts, heavy pants, a scarf wrapped twice around my neck and tucked into a thick sweater knitted by my daughter thirty birthdays ago. The thermostat in my room is set as high as it will go, and a smaller space heater sits directly behind me. It clicks and groans and spews hot air like a fairy-tale dragon, and still my body shivers with a cold that will never go away, a cold that has been eighty years in the making. Eighty years. I wonder if this is how it is for everyone my age.”

I am close to eighty and, thanks God, I feel well. However the beginning interested me

and I read the book very fast. It’s a wonderful story of great love and great tragedy.

It tells that the man is reading to his beloved wife, who suffers

from Alzheimer’s disease and does not recognize him. He is also ill, battling cancer,

and suffering heart disease, kidney failure, and severe arthritis in his hands.

All of us are not in a hurry to die, many of us try to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

However, none of people I know wants to talk about Alzheimer’s disease. It scares


The book impressed me very much. Not only by the plot but also by the way how

the author described these elderly people and their relationship.

I wondered how old was Nicholas Sparks when he wrote it. I found that he was

only 30 years old.

It was his first published novel. It appeared in October 1996 and made the

New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release.

Today Nicholas Parks is very popular. He wrote 18 novels, all of them about love.

Eight of his novels have been made into films:Message in a Bottle (1999), A Walk to Remember (2002), The Notebook (2004), Nights in Rodanthe (2008), Dear John (2010), The Last Song (2010), The Lucky One (2012), and Safe Haven(2013).

After “The Notebook” I read “A Bend in the Road”, “At First Sight”, “The Choice”.

All of them are well written, dynamic and mix great love with a tragedy.

I was completely taken by surprise by the ending of “At First Sight”.

I found a lot of interesting, moving thoughts about love and life in all of them.

“The Choice” brought back to me memories of my mother.

When she was 72 years old she was hit by a car and after surgery was in a coma.

The young heroine of “The Choice” stayed in a coma 3 months, my 72 years old

mother stayed in a coma 6 months. Those have been devastating months for

me and my family..

Then a miracle happened. One wonderful day she opened her eyes and started

to talk to me. The recovery was very fast. She remembered everybody, she

remembered many telephones of all her friends. She became the same

very active, loving and enjoying live woman as before the accident.

She lived happily another 20 years.    .